Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

From amongst the numerous protests beard in Britain against the
Government's policy of inactivity towards Warsaw^ the Scottish Con-
servative Ai.P.'s went straight to the point:
" We desire most deeply and strongly that every possible assistance
should be given to the Poles. We do not know what is still physically prac-
ticable, nor can we be sure whether the possibilities have been limited by
the action or inaction of other Governments.
<4 We believe that what our Government has done and is doing should
be ^made abundantly clear. It should be known beyond doubt what
limitations,, if any,; have been imposed upon its activities and by whom.
Where such limitations arise from the action of other Governments, the
public should be assured that our Government has made crystal-clear what
it thought right and desirable."
It would indeed have been a precedent had those sixteen Scottish
M.P.s received an answer at that time, \vhen conspiracy and secrecy in
foreign affairs had become the rale rather than the exception,
It was only on September 26 that the British Premier gave evasive and
ambiguous explanations in reply to questions in the House of Commons
regarding help for the city of Warsaw, particularly in relation to the role
played by the Soviets in this affair. The explanations, overflowing with
diplomatic sophistry, did not help to dispel the existing doubts and
" I welcome this opportunity of paying tribute to the heroism and tenacity
of the Polish Home Army and population of Warsaw5 who, after five years
of oppression, have yet fought for nearly two months to contribute all in
their power to the expulsion of the Germans from the capital of Poland.
" His Majesty's Government have always made it clear to all concerned
that they were too far from the scene to undertake responsibility for ordering
or supporting a general rising in Poland. At the same time, they have con-
sistently used their good offices to promote co-operation and co-ordination
of plans in regard to such matters between the Polish and Soviet authorities,
and, despite the formidable practical difficulties, they have furnished military
supplies by air to the Polish Home Army. As soon as His Alaj esty's Govern-
ment learnt that the rising in Warsaw had begun, they expressed to the
Soviet Government their hope that, although such co-ordination had not
yet been achieved, they would nevertheless bring such aid to the Polish
insurgents as lay in their power. The Soviet armies were at that time
engaged in heavy fighting with strong German forces to the east and north-
east of Warsaw, but when their operational plans permitted and direct
contact had been established with the Polish Comrnander-in- Chief in Warsaw
they sent supplies to the Polish forces and provided them with air cover and
anti-aircraft support. This assistance has been gratefully acknowledged by
the Polish Prime Minister and by the Polish Commander-in-Chief in
" Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, despite the very great practical
difficulties and in the face of heavy losses, themselves made the long flight
from Mediterranean bases to Warsaw with supplies on all occasions when
weatherconditions permitted. In their statement issued on September 13th,
the Polish Government published particulars and expressed appreciation
of this assistance. On September 18th, a large escorted force of United
States heavy bombers carried out a successful operation, which was planned
in co-operation with the Soviet High Command but which was unavoidably